An analysis of treat-to-target therapy assessing two ultrasound definitions of remission for patients with early rheumatoid arthritis (RA) has concluded that using ultrasound remission as a target was not associated with better long-term outcomes for RA patients.1
Explore this issueDecember 2018
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Compared with MRI, ultrasound costs less, is more accessible and offers the ability to scan more joints in a shorter period of time, but the benefits of structured ultrasound examinations in daily care if patients receive optimal treatment have not been demonstrated, says Siri Lillegraven, MD, MPH, PhD, one of the study’s senior authors and a resident in the Department of Rheumatology at Diakonhjemmet Hospital, Oslo, Norway.
The new paper is a secondary analysis of data from the Norwegian ARCTIC study (aiming for remission in rheumatoid arthritis: a randomized trial examining the benefit of ultrasound in a clinical tight control regimen), published in 2016.2 Starting in 2010, the ARCTIC researchers assessed 238 patients aged 18 to 75 who met ACR/European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) classification criteria for RA, were naive for disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) and were less than two years from first report of swelling joints to test whether incorporating ultrasound into their treatment strategy led to better outcomes.